It can be tough to know how to choose the right attorney that will best fit your particular situation. It costs a lot of money to hire a good attorney, but it costs a lot more to hire a bad one. At the end of the day, if you work in construction, you want someone with deep knowledge of the industry. Construction law is unique and incredibly complex — your neighbor’s divorce lawyer isn’t going to cut it. In this article, we cover some of the highest-ranked and best-reviewed construction lawyers in Los Angeles.
Table of Contents
Do you need a construction lawyer?
Before you hire an attorney, sit down and think through exactly what services you need a construction lawyer for. If you have been served with a lawsuit, you are certainly going to need an attorney. If you need a contract reviewed or written, it is probably best to engage an attorney, but you may not need the cream of the crop if you’re on a budget. It shouldn’t cost too much to review a document, and some attorneys may have a no-frills boilerplate construction contract they can send you that is good in your state.
It’s always best to try to work problems out before getting lawyers involved or filing a lien. However, nothing should ever be expected to go as planned, especially in this industry. When that’s the case, one of these lawyers should be able to set you down the right path.
The Top Construction Lawyers in Los Angeles, CA
These attorneys on this list were selected because they meet a significant number of the below criteria:
- Focus their legal practice on the construction industry
- Work on construction cases in Los Angeles County and the surrounding area
- Are thought leaders in construction law
- Hold a Construction Law Certification from the State Bar of California
Peter Ryan, cofounder of Flores Ryan LLP, was exposed to the construction industry at an early age with his grandfather’s electrical contracting business. There he learned the same nuances of the industry that he uses today, now as an attorney.
Managing contractors, managers, owners, and developers through complex construction contracts and litigation matters, Peter has had practice in both state and federal court. Mr. Ryan has served as local counsel for national companies with respect to construction and real estate disputes. He helps his clients manage risks and restructure business models to prevent further issues down the line.
A graduate of Notre Dame Law School, J.D. cum laude, Peter’s reservoir of experience with litigation in large-scale cases puts him in a class above others.
Peter Ryan is also a member of the Legal Guard network, and a member of Levelset’s Legal Review Board.
Christopher Ng is the managing partner of Gibbs Giden LLP, nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the country’s preeminent law firms for construction law, and recently recognized by Los Angeles Business Journal as one of LA’s Top 25 Law Firms to Work For and Most Admired Law Firms. Chris gained this recognition from hard work, representing companies in a wide range of business, commercial and construction transactions and disputes.
Chris is an educator, active speaker, published author and frequent contributor to local, regional and national legal publications. For his achievements, Chris has been named a “Rising Star” and “Superlawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine and Super Lawyers® regularly since 2009. Chris represents owners, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and design professionals in connection with all aspects of private and public projects. These projects include:
- Commercial and industrial complexes
- Federal and state government projects
- Universities and schools
- Retail stores
- Office buildings
- Solar power projects
Chris Ng earned J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law.
On-demand legal help you can afford
Legal Guard puts a team of construction lawyers in your corner, on call for contract review or legal advice when you need it.
Jeffrey Horowitz of The Horowitz Law Firm has been practicing in California since 1990 and spent some time as an attorney for a surety company before opening his own firm in Sherman Oaks. His areas of focus are real estate, construction, surety issues, eminent domain, and contracts.
Horowitz uses all the tools in his belt when it comes to resolving disputes and is cost-conscious when it comes to fees for his services. He handles disputes arising out of commercial and residential construction, as well as public work projects. He has represented clients in disputes out of construction transactions, including:
- Mechanics liens
- Stop notices
- Performance bonds
- Payment bonds
- License bonds
- Release bonds
- Bid bonds
- Bid protests
Having an attorney that can explain the law in a way you can understand is important, as you need to know your rights and both need to be on the same page when it comes time to take action. Jeffrey ensures that his clients are kept up-to-speed on cases so that they can learn from their current situations and prevent further troubles.
Jeffrey finished his J.D. at Loyola Law School in 1990.
Scott L. Baker
Scott L. Baker is located in LA and handles a wide range of business and construction legal issues, including construction litigation, intellectual property, trade secrets, insurance-related matters, business, construction, and employment contracts. His firm, Baker & Associates, uses alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration, to help keep costs down and try to resolve matters before they go to court.
Baker has been practicing law since 1985 and was licensed in California in 1987, working in the industry since. He has favorable reviews on both Avvo and Lawyers.com and has been recognized repeatedly by his peers as an exceptional attorney. Reviewers mentioned his superior knowledge, “bedside manner” with clients, and his ability to settle issues before they go to court. These are great qualities to find in the attorney world, especially when dealing with such stressful issues.
Scott obtained his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University Law School in 1985. He does his research, listens to his clients, and is willing to educate them so they can avoid future issues. This can help save a company future legal issues and costs.
Wallace Hammons of Hammons & Baldino LLP is a construction and real estate lawyer who has been practicing in California since 2001. His firm, located in Torrance, focuses on construction defect litigation, but also has experience with mechanics liens, bidding disputes, contracts, and claims.
With two decades of experience, Hammons helps anyone involved with and in need of dispute resolution, this includes:
Peer reviews say Hammons is the attorney to handle construction and real estate matters, with many providing referrals to him. He is said to be knowledgeable, easy to work with, and “creative and tenacious.” His abilities to keep costs in mind, look for alternatives, and be aggressive in representing his clients would make him a great attorney to work with.
Kenneth Ruttenberg began practicing law in California in 1993 and is the founder of Ruttenberg Law Firm. He is an experienced construction attorney, whose services include construction contracts, claims, California mechanics liens, suspension of work, and defect litigation. According to the LA firm’s website, most of their cases are “complex condominium litigation and construction defects in particular.”
The firm uses alternative dispute resolution when possible to settle issues. It has flexible billing plans and will even take cases on a contingency fee basis. This can be a lifesaver to smaller companies or those working on a tight financial budget.
Ruttenberg has been on the California Super Lawyer list from 2014-2018, and has received praise from his clients. He is aggressive with the opposing side and understanding to those he represents.
Celebrity clients include Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, and Mark Foster of Foster the People. These types of clients speak to the quality of his work and the reputation he has in LA. However, he might not be the best choice if you are dealing with smaller claims or don’t have the budget to hire such a prestigious firm.
Christopher Mass is an experienced construction attorney who has been practicing in California since 1991 at Gibbs Giden. Mass is an accomplished construction attorney in LA who handles business matters, employee handbooks, and other legal issues, as well as construction defect litigation, mechanics liens, and contract negotiation.
Chris strives to implement cost-effective and innovative solutions to each construction-related problem, but remains well equipped to negotiate, mediate and, when necessary, litigate a resolution. Having an attorney that is not solely focused on litigation as the only method of settlement will help keep costs down and will speed up the process of getting paid.
With his J.D. from Whittier Law School, Mass is a detailed litigator, who asks questions, and returns phone calls regularly and quickly.
Find answers to your Los Angeles legal and payment questions
There are plenty of highly-qualified and committed construction lawyers in Los Angeles and the surrounding area, each specializing in different aspects of construction law to meet the needs of clients. Visit the Levelset Attorney Network to find more lawyers in your area, ready to help you with your unique issue.
At Levelset’s Payment Help Center, folks in the construction industry post questions everyday and get answers from real construction attorneys in their area. If you’re unsure about how to handle an issue, posting a question in the Payment Help Center is a great way to get free advice and determine if you’ll need to officially consult or retain an attorney.